Indy Laps Texans

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November 14, 2004
Indy Laps Texans

by Ric Sweeney

The ball didn’t bounce the Texans’ way Sunday. Literally. The Colts raced to an early lead and then padded it with successive scores to start the second half, thrashing Houston, 49-14. The loss drops the Texans to 4-5 on the season, two games behind Indianapolis and Jacksonville in the AFC South.

Trailing 14-0 with 4:30 remaining in the first half, Texan punter Chad Stanley, making his fourth appearance of the afternoon, attempted to kill a punt inside the Colt 20. But a bad bounce the wrong way landed in the arms of Aaron Moorehead, who rambled 34 yards to the Texan 29. Two plays later, Peyton Manning hit Dallas Clark for his third touchdown of the half and the rout was officially on, 21-0.

It was that kind of day for Houston, who forced Manning and his high-powered offense into a mere 9 third downs on the afternoon while allowing Indianapolis an average of more than 8 yards per play.

While Manning was having a career day, David Carr was having a day to forget. He threw three interceptions and lost a fumble; one of the picks and the fumble were returned for touchdowns. He was also sacked five times and harassed all afternoon by the Colts’ quicker defense.

Meanwhile, Houston’s defense was no match for the high-powered Colts, who moved to 6-3 on the year.

After playing tough the first 15 minutes, allowing a only a 4-yard score to Brandon Stokley on the Colts’ opening possession of the game, the Texan D wilted under Manning’s relentless attack and their own offense’s ineptness. Up 7-0, Indianapolis turned back-to-back sacks of Carr into points, driving 10 plays before Manning hit Reggie Wayne from 5 yards out to push the lead to 14-0.

Trailing 21-0 at the half, any notion the Texans had of turning things around after intermission was dashed 47 seconds into the third quarter when Manning hit Stokley for 69 yards to increase Indy’s lead to 28-0. Exactly 1:01 later, a sack of Carr turned into six more points when Bob Sanders picked up Carr’s fumble to make it 35-0.

Domanick Davis managed two second half scores to make things somewhat respectable. Unfortunately, they book ended an 80-yard Manning-to-Clark hook-up that made it 42-7.

Carr’s third and final pick, with 1:47 left in the game, was returned 77 yards by Von Hutchins for the final score of the day.

What Went Right?

Turning Turnovers into Points It wasn’t their finest moment, but the defense did force two interceptions in the second half, both of which led to touchdown runs from Domanick Davis. It continued a promising trend of Houston’s D making plays and setting things up for the offense, something they didn’t do last week against the Broncos. Granted they were down 35-0 at the time, but…

J.J. Moses The Texans’ diminutive returner averaged 23.7 yards on seven (7!) kick returns, totaling 166 yards. When your offense is struggling, it’s nice to have decent field position. His run backs included a 35-yarder, his second longest of the season.

The Opening Coin Toss Hey, at least the afternoon wasn’t a total loss, right? What do you want from us?! They got their asses packed into a doggie bag and sent home, OK?

What Went Wrong?

The O-My God, That’s Terrible Line Dominick Davis had some nice runs, but… wow, what a disaster. Carr was sacked five times, hit several more, Davis was thwarted on several third-and-short situations and the unit was whistled for seven flags.

The Rebound OK, with Jake Plummer playing out of his mind, last week’s loss at Denver can be chalked up to one of the days. But what a flat, lifeless answer against the Colts. No, the Texans aren’t in Indy’s class, but they’re not 35-0 away from them, either.

Dictation On both sides of the ball, Indy dictated how things were going to play out all day as Houston played passive football, forcing little action. Case in point, while Houston’s offense faced 20 third downs (converting just 8), the Colts’ offense saw 9 all day and needed only 48 total plays, while Houston labored with 83, winning the time of possession by nearly 12 minutes.

Key Play Of The Game

Though down 21-0, Houston’s defense had played well in the first half under the circumstances, forcing two punts and holding Manning in some semblance of check.

But 47 seconds into the second half, Manning hit Brandon Stokley, who outraced an either tired or finished defense, opening the second half floodgates.

The catch-and-run zapped the remaining life out of Houston, and moments later, a Carr sack led to more points. Just like that, a manageable 21-point deficit was an insurmountable 35, and the game was officially over.

Week 9 Brandon STokley is mobbed after his 69-yard touchdown reception. Final Score Houston Texans 14 Indianapolis Colts 49 Lookin’ Good

Kailee Wong
Once the onslaught started he disappeared like many of his teammates, defenseless against a Colt juggernaut. But early, Wong sacked Manning and was around the ball, making plays, continuing a year-long trend for the LB.

Oh, my eyes!

Marcus Spears
Get well soon, Todd Wade. Second-year end Robert Mathis wreaked havoc Sunday, sacking Carr three times and forcing a fumble.

2004 Schedule Date Opponent Result 08.14 Dallas 18-0 08.21 at Pittsburgh 3-38 08.27 at Denver 17-31 09.02 Tampa Bay 9-17 Regular Season 09.12 San Diego 20-27 09.19 at Detroit 16-28 09.26 at Kansas City 24-21 10.03 Oakland 30-17 10.10 Minnesota 28-34 10.17 at Tennessee 20-10 10.24 BYE — 10.31 Jacksonville 20-6 11.07 at Denver 13-31 11.14 at Indianapolis 14-49 11.21 Green Bay 13-16 11.28 Tennessee 31-21 12.05 at New York Jets 7-29 12.12 Indianapolis 14-23 12.19 at Chicago 24-5 12.26 at Jacksonville 21-0 01.02 Cleveland 14-22   Overall Record 7-9